View Full Version : How to buy a good Mosin

Tucker 1371
April 3, 2009, 05:20 PM
I need some help buying a good quality Mosin Nagant at a good price. Here are my questions:

1.) What are some things/flaws/markings I should look for

2.) How do I measure the quality/extent of wear on the rifle

3.) Is $209 a good deal on a full length Tula Mosin? (Supposedly these specifically were the preferred sniper rifles for the Red Army in WW2)

4.) What should I expect to pay for plain ol' ball ammo?

5.) What kind of accuracy should I expect out of a Tula/high quality Mosin with good ammo?

*I am only looking at the full size rifles not the carbines.

EDIT: 6.) How good are Mosins for hunting deer and up?

April 3, 2009, 06:16 PM
Well I would approach it as a regular surplus rifle. Check the bore as there are plenty with nice bores that are shiny, and you don't want to waste money with a pitted bore. Because most of them are arsenal overhauls and they should have weeded out the really bad bores, but corrosive ammo and lazy civilian owners can result in a dull or pitted bore. Pull the trigger back and yank the bolt out. Then you can examine the throat area in front of the chamber for any pitting. Or a rough chamber. You cannot always see throat erosion or pitting from the muzzle end. Some barrels are counterbored for an inch or two, You will notice the bore looks bigger at the muzzle on these. It does not make any diff as long as the rest of the bore is nice. Just check that the bolt moves freely and cocks the gun. You can hold the safety knob back with your thumb while you check the trigger pull so the striker does not fall hard. You will not get a sporter grade trigger pull and it is probably not possible to get one but the trigger pull does vary from gun to gun, but is generally heavyish. Safety is usually hard to operate but some are really hard due to a heavier striker spring or something. One I had was practically impossible to engage. The number on the bolt should match the receiver, but if it is an overhauled gun, it might be electro engraved. You cannot tell everything about the gun unless you fire it. You should get good accuracy of maybe 2 inches or 3 inches with surplus ammo. I prefer the light ball ammo in mine. It is all corrosive. Nothing is guaranteed with these rifles though. Look at the price. But usually they are good enough for their intended purposes. As for hunting, obviously it is not a sporting gun. Not even close. But the paper ballistics are good and with proper soft point ammo should be good for hunting. Ought to be as effective as .303 British, maybe approaching 30 06 performance. Sights sorta suck. Be sure to get it sighted in without the bayonet mounted. May have to drift the front sight base. And maybe a slip on recoil pad if you want to bench shoot alot!

Tucker 1371
April 3, 2009, 06:25 PM
Thanks, I am not planning on keeping this rifle perfectly original and will probably buy a mojo sight like I did with my AK.

Anyone know how Tula Mosins stack up against other Mosins and if a Tula is worth $209?

April 3, 2009, 06:35 PM
I just got a mosin today.
I payed 138$ for it so 200+ is pushing it if you ask me.

You can find them online for 70-80$, the only reason I didn't purchase online was because I wanted to inspect the rifle for myself and did not want to bother having to deal with shipping something to an FFL where they would end up charging me for, and possibly having the firearm be poor quality.

I cleaned mine out barrel, bore ect all looks real good, just needed a good cleaning.

I think 208$ is pushing it though.

I cannot comment on the ammo, however I did purchase some basic ammo for it, that was relatively cheap. I got 320 rounds for about 100$

Tucker 1371
April 3, 2009, 06:44 PM
I think 208$ is pushing it though.

I have to agree I felt the same thing, but it's only for the Tula Mosins. The other Mosins in the shop are 140 or 175 ish. I'm just wondering if there's any justification for charging a premium for the Tulas. $209 is within my price range so I wouldn't mind paying it if I knew I were getting something that was measurably better.

And yeah the prices on the ammo from www.sportsmansguide.com look great, 80 bucks + shipping for 440rds of surplus

April 3, 2009, 09:18 PM
go here for more info on the gun (also has a great section to buy parts and ammo for cheap)

go here to ask collectors about the gun

the cheapest ammo i saw was $79 for 440

i just got my 1917 tula for $75....they are selling around me for about $150

April 3, 2009, 09:21 PM
$209 is too much unless that specific rifle is an ex-sniper with the original barrel, bolt and stock. Tulas aren't that special. But if you really like the rifle, pay whatever you want, it's your money.

April 4, 2009, 12:47 AM
Look for Finn Mosins. They are generally the cream of the crop.

If you are looking for accuracy and are buying Russian, get a 91/30 with a good bore. Normally you can find a load that will shoot pretty good out of them.


April 4, 2009, 08:48 AM
I paid $129 for my Tula at a local shop who has had crates of them. I chose a hex Tula that was priced no differently than any other. Another local shop has them for $99. $200 is way over the top, at least around here.

If you pay that much it should at least be a hex but a Tula hex still isn't that big of a deal.

BTW, I have to agree with nimbleVagrant that if you want the gun buy it. I just ran across a Savage Enfield that was similarly overpriced and I really wanted it so I went ahead with it. I won't regret it and the relatively few bucks overpaid will soon be forgotten. Sometimes we get great deals, sometimes we overpay a bit, that's just the way that it goes. For me the great deals allows me a degree of indulgence when the gun is wanted and the price is not optimal. I also think that there is value in being able to inspect the gun in person, and, to me paying a bit more buying directly from a shop for a bit more can be well worth it.

BTW, I see that you are at GSU (Edited: Oops, Statesboro, which would be a good drive). If you drive up to Forsyth Pawn in Cumming you will find them for $99 (they had two of them earlier in the week), or drive over to Bullseye Range in Lawrenceville you will find a crate of them for $139. Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna was supposed to get them in for $89 but I don't know of they ever did so you might give them a call.

April 4, 2009, 12:28 PM
I'd say keep looking, unless it's an absolutely gorgeous specimen. I wouldn't pay that much even if it was a hex reciever. but I can't stress this enough:


I picked up my 1934 Tula Hex receiver with a flawless laminate stock, pristine blue and squeaky clean barrel (and it's not a CAI gun, either!) for 75.00. Yep-75 bucks. ( The guy thought the stock was damaged/repaired, but it's just the toe splice the Soviets did so they could conserve material.) Couldn't be happier.

Sure, you've got to get a copy of your dealer's FFL (Transfer fee is like $30 bucks for the gun, but hey). It's real hard not to throw down the money NOW and get the gun NOW, so i could shoot it NOW, and enjoy it NOW, but when you get the gun you're looking for and you've still got $100 bucks to spend on a new case for it, ammo, whatnot... that's the way to do it.

Oh- and hunting... they'll have no problem with deer. I've heard stories of people taking elk with them. Plus, if you really want to keep it original but get it to shoot better- Free-float the barrel. Shoots better, and no one will notice.

Then your friends are like "you paid WHAT for it!? I spent that much on the case for my gun!" heh heh.

April 4, 2009, 02:32 PM
I agree with the other posters, $209 is way high. I paid $200OTD for pristine Ishapore .308 last month. For $200-225 you should be able to get a M/N and ammo http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=465896

Tucker 1371
April 4, 2009, 02:52 PM
BTW, I see that you are at GSU

Yes I am, originally from Rome though. Sadly I cannot keep any of my guns with me because I live just barely off campus and apparently there's a law about owning guns within a certain proximity to a college campus, that and my lease agreement was written by a communist. I'm going to be living a bit further off campus next year to avoid that garbage.

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm going to see if I can haggle with the guy a bit, the Tulas in the shop did look a bit nicer than the non-Tula Mosins that he had but $209 did see a little steep considering he has about 10 of them, not including the other Mosins. Thanks again

srt 10 jimbo
April 4, 2009, 03:23 PM
Picked up one this morning at the Gun Show here in Fort Lauderdale this morning for 150 bucks. Seems in good shape , gonna take it apart then reserch it a little. guy said it was made in 1936. Been looking for one for awhile.:)

srt 10 jimbo
April 4, 2009, 05:51 PM
It's a Soviet Union Tula M91/31 ?:)

April 5, 2009, 12:31 PM
There is no difference between a Tula or an Izhevsk M91/30 in quality. The snipers will generally be dated 1941-1944 and have special markings such as CN or CH on the barrel.
A refurbished Tula or Izhevsk M91/30 is at most a $120 rifle and can be found for much less if you look. An ex-sniper is at most a $175 rifle and fairly easy to find for under $120, usually mixed in with regular M91/30's since many dealers don't know the difference.
If you are seeking consistent quality, you can't do much better than the current crop of Finnish M39's that are being sold by dealers. Generally they are $300 rifles but I have no problem finding my 6, all under $200. All shoot under 1.5 MOA which was the standard of the Finnish armorers. They are the empitome of Mosins. For that matter, all Finnish mosins are nice finds as they generally command at least 75% more money that Soviet rifles. I have over 30 Mosins of which more than 80% are Finnish and all are great shooters. My Soviet rifles are not bad and average 3-4 MOA but they don't compete with my average under 2 MOA Finnish rifle. The marking that indicates a Finn is the SA army mark.
The biggest flaw to look for on any military rifle is a cracked receiver or barrel. I have never had problems with headspace but you might want to check that. Another problem is sticky bolt with lacquered cased ammo but you will only know that after firing the rifle - my rifles with that problem were fixed with a thorough chamber cleaning.
Many stocks will have cracks also, but this doesn't impact anything but appearance.
The main wear to consider is in the bore. A great bore should be very shiny and display sharp lands. A rifle not having a great bore might still be a good shooter. Counterbores never bothered me as some of my best shooters are counterbored. The counterbore was performed to improve accuracy and it appears to have worked.
The only Mosins I would ever pay more than $200 for are the rare Finnish ones such as 26-27 Tikkas, M91/24, M27, M28, or M28/30. Of course any complete sniper is worth much more than that.
As far as surplus ammo is concerned, I am now seeing spam cans of ammo (440 rounds) selling for over $100. Early last year I could still buy the same spam can for $50. Two years ago I was paying $35. The price has been steady upward but still is a bargain compared to new manufacture. Of course surplus is corrosive and so a thorough water cleanup followed by conventional cleaning is in order.

April 5, 2009, 12:38 PM
the only reason I didn't purchase online was because I wanted to inspect the rifle for myself

Darn right, those arsenal refinished rifles can look good on the outside and have sewer pipes for bores. The thing is, even if they look shiney the may be washed out. They also might have pits you can't see due to the shine. run a few dry patches down and look for pits. And look to see if the rifling is still sharp and not all rounded off.

April 5, 2009, 05:49 PM
The M44 Carbine I bought had 98% metal and 98% bore and I paid $165 otd with mine. Came with ammo pouch and cleaning kit. And the rifle has all-matching numbers.

Jack O'Conner
April 5, 2009, 06:28 PM


This custom Mosin Nagant is listed for sale in the Trading Post column below.


April 5, 2009, 08:38 PM
I just bought 5 91/30s from J&G Sales. I was very satisfied. Unfortunately they just went up a little. I paid a ffl $16 per rifle to transfer. I bought the 880 round ammo from Sportsman's Guide and used a coupon code for the shipping. These were the best deals I could find. So far I have only shot one. I can hit fairly well from 100 hundred yards. They each have matching serial numbers and they have Hex receivers.

srt 10 jimbo
April 6, 2009, 10:47 AM
Got it all Oiled, Inspected the barrel, only one small problem....cant find no frikkin ammo around here.:mad: